Theatre Review: The Golden Dragon

Although set in a Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese fast food restaurant, The Golden Dragon is more of a slow food offering.

Michael Romano, Mily Mumford, Catriona Black, Blair P. Moro, Bindon Kinghorn star in Theatre Inconnu's production of The Golden Dragon.

On the heels of a romping sex comedy (In the Next Room/The Vibrator Play), Theatre Inconnu offers up a meaty piece of theatre with its production of The Golden Dragon by Roland Schimmelpfennig.

Although set in a Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese fast food restaurant, The Golden Dragon is more of a slow food offering — and the audience needs to sing for their supper, as the song goes. In fact, The Golden Dragon is hard work for everyone involved.

In the program’s director’s notes, Clayton Jevne states “This is not an easy play, and as such, it does not offer the entertainment escape that this stress-filled world drives us toward … take from it, not a reprieve from reality, but a deeper appreciation of reality.”

A cast of five, only one of which (Catriona Black) has graced the Theatre Inconnu stage at Little Fernwood Hall in the past, plays a multitude of characters, telling a series of seemingly unrelated stories — five chefs in the Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese fast food restaurant, a twist on Aesop’s fable (The Ant and the Grasshopper, but in this case The Ant and the Cricket) about the virtues of hard work, a pair of young lovers facing an unwanted pregnancy, and two stewardesses home after a long voyage.

Black shines as the animated Ant — wicked as he may be— and offers a lighter side to the darkness the character brings.

Bindon Kinghorn is a pleasure to watch, especially as the second stewardess, bringing a masculinity and edge to the female role.

Blair Moro brings a certain meekness to the compliant Cricket, contrasting his stocky stature with the submissive character.

Michael Romano is strong as the First Stewardess, offering a macabre look at a woman fascinated with a dislocated human incisor.

And Mily Mumford offers versatility in her roles as the young chef with a toothache, the Man in the Striped Shirt and the Barbie Fucker — three distinctive male roles for such a promising young actress — The stark contrast between the whiny young chef and the confident Barbie Fucker is a true accomplishment.

In the first act, it’s not entirely clear how all the stories are connected — only that some of the characters live in the same building as The Golden Dragon. In the second act, everything comes together lickety-split— what wasn’t clear in the first half quickly becomes apparent.

Original Asian music by Douglas Hensley sets the scene and carries the mood through intermission.

Costumes, set and lighting, also by Clayton Jevne is simple, but spot on.

Since the script only offers dialogue and little direction on form, Jevne has free reign on staging and he pulls off this complex show well. Five chefs in five brightly coloured jackets, each with a station filled with the necessary equipment to run a restaurant — pots, pans and utensils — that fill the small theatre with the chaotic sounds of a Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese fast food restaurant.

In front of each chef is a block of the same colour as their chef jacket, which are moved and manipulated to form the necessary set pieces for each story.

The five cast members stay on stage almost the entire time, switching between narrators, characters and observers with just a short pause.

The 90-minute play includes a 15 minute intermission and is just the perfect length to keep the audience engaged in such a thought-provoking, weighty story — one worth investing your time and energy in. M

The Golden Dragon

Theatre Inconnu

1923 Fernwood Rd

May 9, 10, 11, 15, 16,

17, 18 at 8pm

May 11, 12, 18 at 2pm

 

Tickets at Ticketrocket.org or 250-590-6291

Regular priced tickets

are $14 / $10 Students, Seniors, and the unwaged

(plus a $2 Ticket Rocket surcharge)

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Actors asked to find a spirituality for new Belfry production

Playwright/director Tara Beagan’s The Ministry of Grace tells Indigenous tale of challenge, love

PERFECTLY POTABLE: Bold reds that make you stand up and take notice

Monday wine columnist Robert Moyes weighs in on a trio of fine reds and a yummy late harvest white

Powerful Russian folk trio makes triumphant return to city

Trio Voronezh back on Victoria stage for first time since appearing at Coupe Mondiale in 2013

Abbamania, Night Fever in spotlight at McPherson in Victoria

ABBA, Bee Gees songs will fill the Mac Feb. 7, along with Lady Gaga tribute

Vic High alumni named Victoria’s new Youth Poet Laureate

Neko Smart, the founder and coach of the Vic High slam poetry team, will serve a one-year term

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Winners announced for inaugural Victoria Arts Council/Monday poetry contest

More than 100 entries received in five categories

Canadian polar bears’ ‘ingenious’ survival seen in BBC Earth series

Film crews also go to Tofino to watch black bears snap up crabs under massive boulders

Spring author’s reading series kicks off early in Sidney

Sidney and Peninsula Literary Society hosting Yasuko Thanh and Carla Funk for Feb. 7 event

The winners of London Drugs’ 2019 Amateur Photographer of the Year contest are…

After more than 26,000 entries, the winners have been selected across Western Canada.

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ filmmaker Dean DeBlois among Canadian Oscar nominees

Multiple Oscar-nominated Canadian talents on Academy Award hopefuls list

Most Read